As with all my posts under Mythic Fashion, I’d like to start with saying that Sanathana gives one and all the freedom to interpret, re-interpret and understand mythology as per them. This, is my version of Satyabhama, based on my readings, research and embellished with my own imagination.
If you’ve read my previous post about Satyabhama: The Shrew, you’ll know who and how she was! In case you haven’t, here’s a short recap about who she was… Satyabhama was Krishna’s second and most pampered wife! (Yes Krishna had more than one wife… in fact he had over 16000 wives and No… ‘Radha’ was never married to him… She was his eternal Girlfriend!;) Read more about Krishna and his wives here)
This post however, is about Satyabhama and why we celebrate the second day of Diwali (Narak Chaturdashi / Chhoti Diwali) which in most parts of Southern India is considered as the main Diwali day! Now there are various versions and theories as with all mythological stories but here’s the one I choose to believe.
Satyabhama, came from a very affluent and wealthy background… and was hence, a spoilt and pampered brat! She was the reincarnation of BhoomiDevi (Goddess Earth) and was as gorgeous and beautiful as she was a skilled warrior.
Now the Story of Diwali goes like this:
Narkasura… who was the son of Goddess BhoomiDevi and Varaha (Vishnu’s 3rd Avtaar from the Satyuga), turned to the ‘dark side’ and grew horns (not literally) as he lived on earth! He gave in to the evils that plague human nature (megalomania, lust, greed, etc.) and eventually, having conquered all the kingdoms on earth, he started targeting Swarga (The abode of the Gods). He also kidnapped around 16000 women and held them as hostages and stole the earrings of Aditi (Mother of Indra – the ruler of Swargalok). He began to think of himself as bigger, and more powerful than the Gods themselves, and began to attack them.
Now, at the time when he has started ‘turning’, a prophecy said that he would be eventually killed by one of Vishnu’s own later avtaars! However, on hearing this… BhoomiDevi, his mother, sought a boon (promise) from Vishnu himself, which said that Narakasura would only die if his mother willed it!
This kinda gave him even more courage and the confidence to do whatever the F he felt like doing!
Now when he kidnapped those 16000 women and started attacking Swarglok was in Tretha Yuga (2 Yugas later – friggin immortality, yea!), was around the time when Vishnu was on earth as Krishna! (Vishnu’s 8th Avataar)! So all the Gods led by Indra flocked to him asking him to fulfill the prophecy.
So Krishna, decided to go defeat Narkasura and free the 16000 women. Now, as we know (from my previous post), Satyabhma was super- stubborn and extremely possessive about Krishna! So when she heard that Krishna was going to go battle Narkasura, she decided that She wanted to witness her husband’s glorious victory, so that she could come back and boast about it to his other wives! If he allowed her to go, she would also be the only one of his wives to have accompanied him into battle, which was a huge added incentive!
This kinda worked in Krishna’s favor coz not only was she a skilled warrior, she was also the reincarnation of BhoomiDevi… and He felt that she might come in handy.
So after a lot of ‘fake resistance’, he agreed to take her along!
Now Satyabhama, being herself, was said to be impeccably dressed even as she went for battle! She wore exquisite clothes, a glorious breast-plate and was accessorized to perfection!
Legend says that Krishna and Satyabhama, perched on the back of Garuda (Vishnu’s own flying vehicle / bird) went one on one with Narkasura – Well, it was just Krishna! Satyabhama, confident that Krishna would win, decided then that she didn’t want to strain herself… and so she sat back, set her weapons aside and decided to be the cheer-leader!
Krishna realized that with her not participating in the war, and Vishnu’s boon coming into play, this stupid war wasn’t going anywhere! So after fighting long and hard, with one blow from Narkasura, he suddenly fell unconscious (pretending obviously, because he knew what would follow next).
On seeing Her Krishna unconscious, Satyabhama got pissed off!! Now She wasn’t the kinds who would sulk and cry for help… She always just acted on impulse! (which in this case, worked in Krishna’s favor). She immediately picked up Krishna’s bow and with her gorgeous and graceful self… she got into action! She fought and killed Narkasura… thereby freeing all those kingdoms and those 16000 hostages!
Of course, She didn’t like it when they all insisted that Krishna marry them to save their honor… But eventually, very very reluctantly, after He reasoned with her, she gave in! (How He made up to her for that… is their personal matter… it’s none of our business to get into that 😉
But Oh yes! She did get the boon of staying young and beautiful forever for doing this… so; I’m sure that helped placate her at least a little bit! ;))
And so… that’s the reason why we celebrate Narak Chaturdashi! It marks the end of darkness (for Narkasura and for the hostages) and coming of light and new beginnings!
What I’m wearing here is what I’d imagine her to wear to war! I don’t think she’s the kinds who would have any issues carrying off grand and heavy outfits and even high heels to war! In my mind, she’s one of those amazing women… who’d look at it as another opportunity to create a new look and be completely at ease with everything that we regular people call ‘ fashion discomfort’!
This gown from Kalki fashions, in my mind is a perfect representation of power and luxury – with its upper portion creating and illusion of a breast-plate and the lower portion being all extravagant and luxurious!
Velvet and the handcrafted golden embroidered flowers, are exactly the two things I associate her with… and I don’t think she’d let go of them even when at war!
I’ve kept the accessories minimal, wearing only these earrings from Valliyan, coz with the dress being elaborate enough, you don’t want other objects distracting you… and classy minimalism is what I associate Satyabhama with!
This look is something that I would ask for a bride to wear on one of her main wedding functions (cocktails or the reception)! Or for the Bride’s / Groom’s sister on the reception! In any case, these days with the number of functions and the amount of planning and micro-planning involved…getting married (or getting your sibling married) is no less than going for a war! 😉
And an outfit like this would make you stand out and look the part!
I also love the idea of having the skin-color sheer to create the cuts on the top… which actually hides all your bulges, let’s nothing be visible and still lets you wear that really sexy cut! (Frankly… it’s a dream come true – wish I had it when I got married!)
So anyway… Hope you enjoyed reading that little story about Diwali and I hope I’ve managed to make you fall in love with one of mine and Krishna’s most favorite women from Indian Mythology 🙂
Wish you all, a wonderful and prosperous Diwali!